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Doctor Who Season 6 Part 1 DVD Review - -
Doctor Who Season 6 Part 1
Reviewed by
Chris Tyler
Doctor Who Season 6 Part 1 DVD Review. Watching this I think I worked out what I donít like about Steven Moffatís reign as the Script Editor of Doctor Who. In the old days the Doctor turned up somewhere and he was fairly anonymous.

Feature 6.0
Video 8.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 2.0
Total 6.2
Distributor: ABC
Running Time: TBA
Reviewer: Chris Tyler
: PG


Doctor Who Season 6 Part 1

Watching this I think I worked out what I donít like about Steven Moffatís reign as the Script Editor of Doctor Who. In the old days the Doctor turned up somewhere and he was fairly anonymous. Many people thought he looked shifty and locked him up as a matter of course. This went hand in hand with minions lusting after one of his many companions. But the Doctor wasnít universally known, he wasnít a legend. In the new series he is and whilst it was interesting for a few stories, itís starting to get in the way of the story. That being said, thereís a lot to like here. Itís still Doctor Who and itís still the best idea in the history of television as Russel T Davis once said. As for the set itself this is just the first six episodes of Season Six with a couple of tacked on special features.  You know thereís going to be a full set of Season Six with loads of special features including the Confidentials and probably another set with all the episodes of New Who after that; so this is just for people who canít wait.


The series starts with the two-parter; The Impossible Astronaut and The Day of the Moon. This was Doctor Whoís much vaunted first trip to America to film although it has to be said that it only takes a few minutes of panoramic vistas before the old urges take hold of the production team and we end up in a quarry. But itís an American quarry... all be it one with a lake!

This episode introduces the Silence. Their gimmick is that you forget them as soon as you stop seeing them and theyíve been on earth since the beginning of time influencing human history for their own ends. (One of the many, I might add.  No wonder we are so screwed up as a species what with life being created by Scaroth of the Jagaroth, the Dinosaurs being destroyed by the Cybermen, us as apes culled by Silurians, invisibly influenced by the Silence, genetically engineered and influenced by the Daemons, and the Fendal. All working to different ends presumably without knowing what the other was doing.)

This two-parter is good, itís interesting and it sets up the rest of the series nicely, the improbability of the Silence notwithstanding. And of course thereís the big mystery of the series. Who killed the Doctor and why?

Then next episode is The Curse of the Black Spot.  Ahh... Doctor Who and Pirates, it sounds brilliant doesnít it, who doesnít like pirates? Trouble is itís never worked. Enlightenment, The Chase, all those times itís been tried it has looked rubbish and been very confusing. The Curse of the Black Spot is no exception with plot holes you could sail a ship through not the least of which is the idea that pirates from the 18th century would have no trouble flying an alien spaceship  because a ship is a ship and all ships are inherently shippish. Yes thatís the reason that Iím allowed to fly a plane because I once played a couple of hours of Microsoft flight simulator.

Then we have the Ďfangasmí of The Doctorís wife, a provocative title which is actually a metaphor for the Doctor and his relationship with his Tardis. Written by geek god Neil Gaiman, The Doctorís Wife would have been the high point of any season of Doctor Who but here it positively shines. Internally consistent, thoughtful, with some brilliant lines and great shoutbacks to the classic series.  I particularly like the message cubes which havenít been seen since The War Games. The Doctorís Wife is a love letter to Doctor Who AND a fantastic story in its own right. It vies for best episode of Doctor Who ever.

The Rebel Flesh is the next episode as well as its companion episode The Almost People. Itís not a bad episode, but the aside from the meditation on what it is to be human, what is fake and what is real and the desire for confrontation that springs from fear at the heart of all people, itís really only a setup for the next episode.  Oh, and there are more sonic screwdrivers than there should be.

A Good Man goes to War is the last episode of the first half of this season and itís a cracker. A lot of people thought this episode was terrible and yes it has its faults.  Itís terribly creepy to think that River who is at the very least dating the Doctor is in fact Amy and Roryís child.  The Headless Monks are frankly ridiculous but the start is cool, assembling the members of the Doctors army is cool and above all the Sontaran Nurse is cool. The revelation at the end about River is handled well so much so that everyone that I watched it with had bet on River being the Doctors mother (which would have been even more wrong.) Although the thinly veiled attack on religion was a little odd if you ask me.

All in all a mixed bag but it could be just set-up for a great second half of the series.

Audio: The audio in all episodes is a pretty good 5.1 mix where dialogue is clear and all effects are well positioned to the side and rear channels.  

Video: The series looks very good, apart from where some of the CG is a little cheap but overall it looks very good.

Special Features: Special features here consist of little more than ďMonster FilesĒ which are vignettes that tell you about the monsters youíve just been watching. There are two; one on the Gangers and one on The Silence. Yawn.


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